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Blue Jays Sweep Simmons as Records Fall

Blue Jays Sweep Simmons as Records Fall

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – University of Saint Joseph senior Patti Sciglimpaglia (Norwalk, Conn.) had a record-setting day as the softball team swept Simmons College, 3-2, 5-3 in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference doubleheader at Central Conn. State Univ.

Sciglimpaglia earned a complete game-victory on the mound in the opener. And though her amazing streak of 56 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run came to an end when Simmons scored two runs with two out in the seventh, she forged two more huge entries atop the USJ record book in the second game.

Sciglimpaglia tripled home a run in the bottom of the fourth inning for career hit #177, which broke the previous record for career hits of 176, set by Emily Hummel from 2010-13. Then after entering on the mound in relief of starter Danielle Circosta (Feeding Hills, Mass.) in the sixth inning, a seventh-inning strikeout was #382 for her career and surpassed Mary Ann Parsons, who had 381 from 1999-2001.

USJ has won 11 games in a row and improved to 16-4 overall and 6-0 in the GNAC. Simmons is 6-9 overall and 0-4 in conference play.

"Those are terrific accomplishments for a terrific player," USJ coach Jim McKinnon said. "She's been an All-Conference player for four years who is not only one of the top hitters in the league, but also one of the top pitchers. She works hard and deserves all the credit she gets."

USJ took a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the first game. Kara Klimaszewski (Naugatuck, Conn.) singled to center and came around to score when Morgan Skoly reached third on an error. Skoly then scored on a sacrifice fly by Emily Vigue (Lebanon, Conn.) The lead grew to 3-0 when Haley McCall (Lebanon, Conn.) singled for the 100th hit her career and came home on a double from Mary Sciglimpaglia. In a day full of milestones, Heather White (Westfield, Mass.) had also recorded her 100th career hit for Simmons in the game with a second-inning single.

In the Simmons seventh, Alexandra Moleski (Bridgeport, Conn.) doubled and after two strikeouts, went to third on an infield single by Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) Taylor LeBrun (Milford, Mass.) walked and White drove in two runs with a single to left that produced the first earned runs against Sciglimpaglia since March 13 in Florida, the second day of the season. But Mary Sciglimpaglia grabbed a foul pop-up to end the game.

Patti Sciglimpaglia allowed seven hits, three walks and struck out 10 to improve to 10-0 on the season. Simmons starter Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) pitched into the sixth inning and allowed one earned run.

USJ broke on top in the first game with three third-inning runs. USJ drew three walks and Patti and Mary Sciglimpaglia and Vigue all had RBI-singles. Simmons came back with one in the top of the fourth when White led off with a walk and eventually scored on a two-out error.

The Blue Jay pushed their lead to 5-1 in the fourth. Sarah Ercoli (Watertown, Conn.) walked, Patti Sciglimpaglia had her record hit, an RBI-triple to right and then scored on twin sister Mary's single to right.

The Sharks came back with two in the top of the sixth. Mary Martunas (Rutland, Mass.) singled, White walked and Dominique Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) singled to lead the bases with no out. Michaela Reeves (Reading, Mass.) then singled to drive in two and cut the Simmons deficit to 5-3. But the Blue Jays escaped further damage with a line-drive double play and Sciglimpaglia coming out of the bullpen to get a strikeout. The day ended with Sciglimpaglia getting a 1-2-3 seventh that started with record-breaking strikeout #382. Circosta allowed two earned runs and struck out four to improve to 6-2 on the year.

USJ next hosts Trinity in a non-conference game Tuesday April 12 at 4 p.m. Simmons plays a GNAC doubleheader at Lasell Tuesday beginning at 3 p.m.